Pluto

Lowell.edu

The expansion plans of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff include opening a new open-deck observatory, a movable-roof facility featuring six telescopes for use both by researchers and the public.

NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Scientists have discovered enormous white dunes made of methane ice on Pluto. They were found in high-resolution images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports it’s a mystery how they formed.

NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

In the last few years, Pluto has gone from being a fuzzy dot in the sky to a geologically active world of mountains, canyons, and heart-shaped glaciers. That’s thanks to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which sailed by Pluto in 2015 to photograph it up close for the first time. The mission’s leader Alan Stern is currently on a book tour and visits Flagstaff today. He spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny from the road.


Melissa Sevigny

Two new books chronicle Flagstaff’s long history with everybody’s favorite dwarf planet, Pluto. It was discovered at Lowell Observatory in 1930 and it’s been the toast of the town ever since. Local scientists have been involved with nearly every major Pluto discovery, including the recent flyby by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny brought the authors of the new books into the studio to have a conversation about why they think little Pluto is a big deal for Flagstaff.

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

A year from today, NASA scientists will have a chance to explore a small space rock in the outer solar system. It will be the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


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